Contents of the EHC plan

Our advice around appealing the needs (section B) and/or provision (section F) of an EHC plan. This section will also be helpful if you are appealing the school/setting or type of school/setting named –  as the contents of the plan are relevant to the appeal.

It’s always a good idea to continue talking to the local authority about your concerns or any questions you have. Further information will help you decide whether to appeal and should you decide to, will be key when building your case.

Before appealing you must firstly consider mediation, this can be really useful for example where:

  • you would like an opportunity to properly discuss your issues and find out more about how the local authority reached their decision
  • you have some additional information or a new report you would like to share with the local authority.
  • the local authority have omitted to include information provided during assessment
  • you believe further assessment is required to determine needs

It is possible following mediation the local authority will agree to amend the plan or arrange further assessment, therefore avoiding an appeal.

What the Law says

The Children and Families Act 2014 says:

…an EHC plan is a plan specifying—

the child’s or young person’s special educational needs;

the special educational provision required by him or her; (37 (2))

And:

Health care provision or social care provision which educates or trains a child or young person is to be treated as special educational provision (instead of health care provision or social care provision). (21 (5))

The SEND Regulations (section 12) says that each section of an EHC plan must be separately identified.

So what does this mean?

It is really important that sections B and F accurately reflect your child/young person’s Special Educational Needs and Provision, including any related health or care provision which educates or trains your child.

Building your case

Your appeal needs to explain and evidence reasons why you believe it is necessary for the special educational needs and provision to be amended in the EHC plan.

If there has been a recent EHC needs assessment, start by looking at the professional reports and cross-reference reports with the EHC plan.

It can be helpful to use a highlighter pen to help you see each identified need, and ensure each of these has corresponding provision, both within a report and again with the EHC plan.

You may find it useful to read our section ‘How can I get the most out of my plan?

Supporting evidence

See below for some examples of supporting evidence…

  • Your child/young person’s views
  • Progress reports
  • IEP/support plan/pupil passport/provision map
  • Home/school diaries
  • Assessment/specialist reports
  • Exclusion letters/reports
  • Letters/emails from setting/local authority/health/specialist/’continuing care assessment’
  • Examples of school or homework (can be helpful where rate of progress is in dispute)
  • You can request a copy of your child’s school record (you will likely be charged for photocopying)

Second opinion – where you disagree with a professional report or recommendation, where finances allow you could explore private assessment. Where views of professionals differ each is given equal weight at tribunal.

Consider the local authority (and/or health provider) view

Find out why they do not want to accept your proposed changes and use the opportunity to explain your reasons. Point to evidence and provide copies of reports with highlighted sections to help you explain

Witnesses

You can ask professionals to be your witness, establish whether they can provide a letter, report or witness statement which helps you to evidence your key points. You may, for example, ask that they clarify or expand the information they have provided as part of the assessment.

You could ask if they will come along to the hearing, if they decline you can request a summons for them to attend – before you do this be sure they intend to support your case!

Private therapists and psychologists are likely to charge a daily fee to attend a hearing, which will be your responsibility to cover.